The South Wind

Coming over Watchtower Hill on the way to Enon on Sunday The forecast for Saturday morning looked pretty good, relatively speaking. An early morning temperature around 50, warming considerably during the day. I didn’t even bother to check again Saturday morning as I headed out to Starbucks a bit after 6 am to meet the Giro Ride group. Wet streets and rain decimated the Saturday Giro, leaving only 4 of us to do the full route. When I arrived, though, one of the guys immediately commented on th Coming over Watchtower Hill on the way to Enon on Sunday The forecast for Saturday morning looked pretty good, relatively speaking. An early morning temperature around 50, warming considerably during the day. I didn’t even bother to check again Saturday morning as I headed out to Starbucks a bit after 6 am to meet the Giro Ride group. Wet streets and rain decimated the Saturday Giro, leaving only 4 of us to do the full route. When I arrived, though, one of the guys immediately commented on the approaching rain.  Rain?  Wasn’t expecting that. I checked the radar and it looked like there was a decent enough chance that the rain would skirt the city to the west. By 7 am there was a good-sized group on hand, and we rolled out as usual to the lakefront, heading east. Behind us I would see some dark clouds, all of which should have been moving slowly toward the northeast, so at least we were going in the right direction. It wasn’t long, though, before I started to feel the raindrops. Then there was a flat on Hayne Blvd. for which I think most of the group stopped. By the time we started up again riders were already talking about turning back early. At Chef Highway, we caught up with the front of the group that hadn’t stopped for the first flat. They were busy fixing another flat. By then there was a very light rain falling and the streets were good and wet. We headed down Chef and when the group saw the 5:45 group on its way back, almost everyone turned around. I did too. Then I noticed that a few riders had not, so I turned around again. It was too large of a gap for me to close, so I just rode steadily to the turnaround where what was left of the group, four riders including myself, started back. Other than the wheel spray and messy bikes, it wasn’t that bad of a ride thanks to the warmer temperature. When I got home I had to spray down the bike and throw all of my clothes into the washer, but at least I never got too cold. Great weather for the Sunday Winter Ride Series #2 On Sunday we had the second NOBC Winter Ride Series ride. I’d decided to do the same loop we’d done two weeks ago, which hadn’t been my original plan. I figured a lot of riders had gotten pretty far behind on their training because of the cancelled WRS ride the prior week and the freezing temperatures and everything. I’d originally planned to add 15 or 20 miles to the ride for this week, but decided to keep it at the same 65 miles we’d done two weeks prior. Although the temperature was 48 or so at the start, we had a clear blue sky and lots of sun, and it warmed up quickly. The ride was smooth and steady, ramping up a bit toward the end, which was a lot of fun. I certainly felt like I’d gotten my money’s worth out of the ride. At the start, there was hardly any wind at all, but as we turned back toward the south an hour or two later we were confronted by an increasing south wind. I guess is was around 8 – 10 mph by the time we got back to the cars. So despite the freezing temperatures and sleet and ice that shut down the City of New Orleans for two full days earlier in the week, I ended up with a respectable 276 miles in the books. Granted, most of those miles were barely zone 2 quality, but hey, it’s still January. This morning I’d been expecting rain, but that never happened, so I got in a nice little recovery ride on the levee before work. At the moment the wind is shifting back around to the north which should push the morning lows back into the 40 through Thursday when it will be back out of the east along with more rain. That is looking to be the cycle for the next week or two – chilly mornings, lots of wind shifting around from north to southeast, and rain preceding each shift. Situation normal.

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